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Nickel and dimed

You can tell by my recent blog posts that my travel schedule has been rather intense lately. On a flight last Friday returning home from Tucson, Arizona, my connection placed me in Houston. At this point I was concluding a very busy yet enjoyable week and was ready to relax on the three-hour journey home. I was further excited to see a sign advertising Direct TV on this flight with over 100 channels!

When I got to my seat, I immediately pulled out my own headphones and escaped into the world of reality television. 

About 15 minutes into my enjoyment, a message appeared on the screen: “YOUR FREE PREVIEW WILL BE ENDING SOON.” I immediately assumed this was referring to a movie preview that didn’t apply to me. Sure enough, a few moments later, I was prompted to swipe my credit card. The fee would be US$5.99 for a flight of two hours or less and US$7.99 for flights over two hours.

While I wanted to continue learning about negotiation skills from “Pawn Stars,” I felt “nickel and dimed” and took out my iPad to watch a purchased episode of “The Big Bang Theory” for the 39th time. I glanced around to see what the other passengers were doing, and as far as I could tell not one person paid to watch television.

I understand the need to make a profit, but when a service had been offered complimentary before and/or when competition is offering the same service for free, I feel that I am being taken for granted. 

Do you have any suggestions on how this particular airline might handle this situation? Has your service establishment ever been accused of “nickel and diming” a customer, and what has been your solution?

 

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